Two Stupid Roads Diverged in A Yellow Wood

Two roads diverged in a wood...

This weekend was officially our last weekend in DC.  And we spent it with (almost all of our friends), but the more time I spent with friends, the more confused I became about life.

First, we went to Mr. B’s friend and now ex-coworker at his house in the DC suburbs.  He and his wife have a beautiful house and two very, very cute little boys.  Mr. B’s other friends and ex-coworkers were there, and they are also all married and either have kids or are thinking about them very soon.  They live relatively far away from DC, far away enough that they can’t get in to see, say, the Kennedy Center at night, but that doesn’t matter, because being close to DC is not a priority for them.  Family is. Their house is full of love and the chaos that comes with having two small kids.

If you want to have this sort of atmosphere, you have to live far away from the city.  While the women were sitting in the kitchen, the conversation turned to childcare.  “I quit my job.  I just couldn’t justify the two-hour commute and by the time I got to work and paid for childcare, the net sum I made was less than if I stayed home,” one said.  “We’re thinking about kids in the near future, but I want to start my own business and I can’t do that if we have kids.  So I want to, but it’s going to be a long wait for my business to get off the ground.”

Second, we went to an engagement party in one of my favorite neighborhoods in DC, Adams Morgan,  for my two ex-coworkers, who also turned later into really, really good friends, and all of my other ex-coworkers, who also turned into really good friends were there. They are all not married or in serious relationships and kids are very, very far off.  They are doing awesome, exciting things like working for IMF/World Bank, getting their advanced degrees, and traveling to Ghana and Brunei. We talked about Patrice Lumumba, why diamonds are overpriced, think tanks, and how one of us had accidentally eaten goat while she was in India.  You know.  The shit I love.

Then my friend, the engaged one, said her future mother-in-law had already asked her when they were planning to have kids. My engaged friend is kickass at her job and loves it, so it won’t be anytime soon.  On the one hand, I was angry on her behalf that she was having to field these questions, but on the other, I was sad because I know my friends would make great parents and her job shouldn’t have to preclude her from setting priorities. And then I became angry at myself that I was sad, because this is the exact type of stuff that I don’t want to hear from other people.

When we got home on Saturday night, I thought about both of our groups of friends, and how conflicted I was because I want to be both of those groups of friends.  I want everything, and it is so unfair to women that we can’t have it but that men don’t give this a second thought.  If I could count the number of times just this weekend alone that I was asked when Mr. B and I are having kids, I could cry.

When I fumed to him about it, he laughed it off.  “Did anyone ask YOU when we were having kids?” I asked.  He remained quiet.  Because, obviously, it’s never up to the guy.  But what if I want to have a big happy family in a safe suburban environment AND I want to go to Israel and become an Israeli ice cream specialist? Or a train specialist that has to travel to Turkmenistan? Or a fruit specialist that has to fly to Finland?  It doesn’t work that way, I’m learning. Even if modern feminism says it does and it should, biology says SCREW YOU.

So, as we are closing in on day 0 in DC and beginning day 1 in Philadelphia together, it seems like, by not being able to choose both roads, I am taking one.  But really, I’m taking it as a challenge to split that one road into two more smaller, winding, paths and see what the hell happens.

Friday Links

What’s better than reading my complaining on my blog?  How about reading it in an ebook? Put together by my Twitter friend Suzanne?  About Shabbat? Clickly clickly on the link to register and download the PDF, if you so desire.

I should probably mention that this piece was edited to exclude the fact that what I’ve eaten by accident on Yom Kippur was shrimp and the way I currently commemorate Shabbat is by listening to Shabbat music on my iPod while I am driving between Philly and DC on Friday nights.  Fortunately, these pieces of information were taken out in the final version to save me from myself.

Friday Links:

  1. If socialism is bad, why do the socialists have everything that is good and pure about life?
  2. This being the modern, technology-driven world, what we get in place of the above, if we choose to buy a Kindle, is convenience: no more bookstores; no more waiting for Amazon packages to arrive; no more dog ears; no more weight in our bags; no more bookmarks.”
  3. Yes. I’m in the 94%.
  4. How many dogs on a scale of 1 to 365 does it take to drive you crazy?
  5. A soft revolution.
  6. Reading Dostoyevsky.
  7. I wanted to write this post, but I’m too lazy and inarticulate.
  8. I don’t think they conducted research. I think they just colored stuff in.
  9. Mongolia!
  10. Linkbait. Or stupidity. You decide.
  11. This is linkbait, but just for me. Cause you know how I love old photos.
  12. Boca on the Black Sea
  13. I would like to read The Economist this way.
  14. Because it’s bad luck to have only 13 links, here is a 14th one.

Caption Contest

Update: Hooray to Suzanna!

Guess what I finally found in the Swamp of Boykis Belongings that is Mr. B’s mom’s basement right now?  My beloved camera connector.  Which means more pictures!

Here’s the first one. In an idea I got from Megan, how about a caption contest?   Winner gets to proclaim he or she is the winner of my comment section. Which in the grand scheme of things means nothing, I realize.

This picture was taken in January, otherwise known as Helluary.

“The destinations are crap, but oh, the journey is wonderful.”

There is a Russian joke that has a man going back and forth from Odessa to Moscow, Moscow to Odessa. As soon as he gets to one place, he turns right around and goes to the other.  A man caught up to him and asked, “What are you doing?”  The man replied, “The destinations are crap, but oh, the journey is wonderful.”

I love travel, and I don’t know what it is about planes and cars and trains (not so much buses) that I love so much. But I do.  I think it’s because I’m reminded of how small and insignificant our problems really are as I see cars the size of ants, somber mountains, and endless clouds.

Traveling is one of my main joys in life and wanderlust is one of my main problems. I love packing my bags. I love driving to the airport. I love how everyone in the airport is in it together. In what? I don’t know.   Mr. B says it’s because I’m part Mongolian.

I say it’s because the journey is wonderful.

And, if you stay tuned for my upcoming Vegas post, you’ll find out that the destinations are mostly crap.

At Last

No Friday Links today, but something even better.

Mr. B is moving and starting a new job in Philly over the next couple of weeks.

Let’s cue the song that we first danced to at our wedding.

I am so, so, so proud of  him for finding a job, in a recession (which is quickly turning into stagflation,) in a city that is not exactly JOB CENTRAL.

Actually, I’m going  pat myself on the back too, because Philly is a terrible job market for econ nerds (and foreign policy nerds, and ……).Even though we are young, college-educated, and pretty much native English speakers, all of which theoretically gives us a leg up, this was no less of an accomplishment and I’m sure you all want to congratulate us and buy us bottles of champagne.

It’s ok. I anticipated your sentiments and bought one or five for myself.

Because after almost five months of living apart, driving three hours back and forth, agonizing waiting,  hideous anxiety attacks which have only recently started to abate (me), eating cereal for dinner (him), and having to peel my own oranges, we can really use some vino.

Next steps include adjusting to living together again as Oscar and Felix (can you guess which of us is a neat freak? says she as she organizes her books alphabetically by color),  and buying a house.  Also going to all of the really good restaurants in Philly.

In the meantime, we’re going to Vegas.

Later!